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Children That Immigrated With Parents are “Aging Out” of Citizenship

“Aging out” is an issue that many children in today’s society face. The term “aging out” refers to when a child, who was listed as a dependent on their parent’s green card application, turns 21 before their parent is granted a green card. When this happens, the child then loses their spot in line, and they become an illegal citizen. This is highly problematic for the children of school teachers that were recruited to New York City in the 1990’s.

In the 1990’s New York City schools were lacking teachers. To fix this problem, school officials sent recruiting teams around the world to recruit teachers in exchange for help obtaining green cards, and in the long run citizenship. The unforeseen problem was that these promises were made for the teachers immigrating, not their families.              

Many of the children immigrated to the states when they were under 21 and listed as dependents on their parent’s green card application. Once they turned twenty one and their parents still didn’t have a green card, they became illegal citizens. Numerous children came here legally, and then because of hold ups in the system, had to go back to a country that they had never really known. For some children that grew up almost entirely in the United States, this was a harsh reality.

For a California woman that immigrated to the United States in 1998, this vicious cycle is one that hits close to home. Rosalina Cuellar de Osorio is to go before the Supreme Court sometime in the near future in order to determine the fate of many young immigrants. Cuellar de Osorio immigrated to the United States in 1998 from El Salvador and her son “aged out” and is now an illegal citizen. She saw this as unlawful, and is taking it to the highest court in the land. This court case is momentous in the world of immigration, for it determines the fate of children throughout the country.